US Gas Price Cools As Summer Driving Season Ends

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The average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped by 1.4 cents in the past week, to start this week off at a price of $2.82 according to the latest data from GasBuddy. The Labor Day holiday ends the summer driving season and gas prices for the period averaged $2.87 a gallon, the highest since 2014. Pump prices reached a year-to-date high of $2.97 at the Memorial Day holiday and have been declining slowly ever since.

Month over month the price is down 4.3 cents a gallon and remains about 18 cents a gallon higher year over year. Last month the national average was $2.868 while the year-ago average was $2.641.

Retail gasoline prices were 55 cents a gallon higher this year compared to the summer driving season of 2017, but 71 cents below the 2014 average.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said:

Much of the blame for the summer’s higher gas prices can be blamed on OPEC’s long-term decision to cut oil production to better balance supply and demand, pushing prices higher. Now that summer is over, gas prices are likely to seasonally decline by the end of the year, but with Tropical Storm Gordon likely to impact the sensitive Gulf Coast region, gas prices may move higher before we see the seasonal downtrend emerge. We’re carefully watching the storm for possible disruptions to refineries and gas stations, and will continue to do so until hurricane season ends.

According to GasBuddy, states where prices moved most last week were: Missouri (up 10 cents), Michigan and Ohio (down 7 cents), Illinois and Indiana ( down 4 cents), Kentucky, Utah, and  Delaware (down 2 cents), and Oregon and Idaho (up 2 cents).

States with the lowest average prices last week included: South Carolina ($2.51), Alabama ($2.52), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.56) and Arkansas ($2.56), Texas ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.58) and Tennessee ($2.58), Virginia ($2.59), and Kansas ($2.62).

The highest average prices per gallon last week were reported from Hawaii ($3.74), California ($3.60), Washington ($3.35), Alaska ($3.28), Oregon ($3.24), Idaho ($3.23), Nevada ($3.18), Utah ($3.17), Pennsylvania ($3.04) and Connecticut ($3.01).

WTI crude oil for October delivery traded up about 0.4% just after the noon hour Monday at $70.05 while Brent for November delivery traded at $78.37. The price differential (spread) between WTI and Brent crude increased by $1.05 to $8.32 a barrel week over week.